Day 1, Session 1: JACQUES VILLENUEVE, Bill Davis Racing: What are your initial thoughts of Talladega Superspeedway? "It's very nice to finally drive around this track -- I've heard a lot about it and it is a very special race track. It drives...
Day 1, Session 1:
JACQUES VILLENUEVE, Bill Davis Racing:
What are your initial thoughts of Talladega Superspeedway? "It's very nice to finally drive around this track -- I've heard a lot about it and it is a very special race track. It drives different than any other track I have been on because you can drive wide-open all the way around. You just have to be smooth and be careful not to use too much power so you can roll and get an extra tenth just by driving smoothly."
What have you been told to expect from drafting practice? "I've been told that I will be wondering what this bunch of lunatics is doing out there running so close to each other the whole time -- just like kids I suppose, but it should be fun. I am probably going to stay in the back and watch what happens."
What were your thoughts on the laps you took this morning? "We got going very late this morning and only got a couple runs in -- we haven't been able to work on set-up at all yet. I was just getting used to running the fast laps out there as far as staying up to the top of the race track as long as possible before coming back down. I'm still working to figure everything out, but we will get more time this afternoon."
What have your two testing experiences been like in the NASCAR truck and COT? "The two tracks that I have tested on so far have both been mile-and-a-half tracks with one being smooth and the other was bumpy. It is difficult to compare those two tracks to this track, but I also think the Bill Davis Racing team has had more experience on those tracks in the trucks rather than the COTs. From the word 'go' the truck was very nicely balanced and when we tested the COT, it took us until the end of the day to get it to respond in a nice way. Both were fun, but the truck was faster in the corners -- maybe that's just because we were at Chicagoland."
How much communication have you had with your Bill Davis Racing teammates and with other drivers in the garage? "When we are not in the cars -- we have been able to talk quite a bit and they are a big help. Really all of the drivers in the garage have been very friendly and I'm not used to that. I was used to everyone minding their own business and kicking everyone down so this is a nice change."
DAVE BLANEY, No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry, Bill Davis Racing:
How has your test session been this morning? "These cars drive really good around here -- they'll control our speeds with the restrictor plate so that's not really an issue. They're nice and solid and I really think it will be a lot of fun out there in drafting. I think you'll be able to suck-up to people a lot faster that we could before. We haven't been able to make too many runs, but we got faster every time. I don't know what kind of speed differences we are seeing yet between the COT (Car of Tomorrow) at the other car, but I know there is a bigger plate in this car because it has so much more drag. NASCAR will make the speeds in these cars whatever they want it to be -- they could go 210 (miles per hour) or they can go 180."
DALE JARRETT, No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing:
What are some of the initial differences you are seeing in the COT here versus the other car? "The biggest difference is seeing the change in RPM -- by the time you come around, after you come out of the pits and some back around to the start/finish line, you have reached your maximum RPM. We have more throttle response and the cars drive fine here because the track is so smooth. We'll have to wait until we get out in traffic to really see what happens."
What are you expecting to see in drafting practice with the COT? "The only thing I have heard about these cars in drafting trim has been from few guys that were here for the tire test and that was that the cars get loose. But we'll have to see what happens because I would expect that with the big hole these cars punch in the air -- drafting should come into play a little more than we have been used to."
-credit: toyota motorsports